Paul Manafort Retroactively Registers As A Foreign Agent For Ukraine Lobbying

Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Registers As A Foreign Agent

Failure to report lobbying work under FARA is a felony, but prosecutions for violations are rare.

"Today, Paul Manafort registered with the Department of Justice's [Foreign Agents Registration] unit for his work on behalf of Ukraine's Party of Regions".

Manafort has denied any coordination with Russian Federation and has said his work in Ukraine was not related to the campaign.

Manafort's filing makes him the second member of Trump's inner circle to retroactively register as a foreign agent.

The FBI has also said it is investigating allegations that Russian Federation interfered in last year's presidential campaign.

The Senate Intelligence Committees are investigating possible Russian manipulation of 2016 presidential race between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

The disclosures cap lengthy negotiations with officials at the Justice Department, which monitors activities of Americans who work on behalf of foreign political parties and governments. "Manafort would call the embassy and say, 'Can I tell you guys what I'm doing?'" Taylor recalled, "The way Paul Manafort worked, he had a couple people in Kiev to keep a finger on the pulse of Kiev politics, then he'd come to town, do his own reality check, come see us in the embassy, and obviously spend a lot of time with Yanukovych and the Party of Regions". The law allows foreign agents to file after the fact.

Manafort had been consulting in Ukraine for Yanukovych and the Party of Regions at least as far back as 2005.

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In the document that Manafort filed with the DOJ, he stated that during the period that he worked for the Ukrainian party, he provided: "strategic counsel and advice to members of the Party of Regions regarding their interaction with US government officials and other western influential persons to advance the goal of greater political and economic integration between Ukraine and the West", Politico reported.

Manafort is one of a number of Trump associates whose campaign activities are being scrutinized by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of a probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The filing shows that the firm signed the contract with acting Head of the Party of Regions Volodymyr Rybak, who was Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Speaker in 2012-2014.

Some of the names that Manafort mentioned in the document, suggesting that he was in contact with them regarding his Ukrainian political campaign work are California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, former USA official Paula Dobriansky and Vice President of National Endowment for Democracy Nadia Diuk. He could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday evening. He said the work with Ukrainian clients ended before Manafort joined the Trump campaign.

The filing leaves open the possibility that Manafort did more in Ukraine that he admits in the document.

Last August, the AP reported that emails show that Manafort's firm and Gates directed the efforts of Washington lobbying firms that were working on behalf of the center.

Both of the lobbying firms involved in the work- Mercury and The Podesta Group - have since registered with the Justice Department as foreign agents.

Chad Day and Jeff Horwitz are writers for the Associated Press.

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